- The peel from 6 clementines
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 4 star anise
- 30 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- Breakfast tea, to serve
- Full cream milk, coconut drink or tiger nut drink, to serve
- Honey or maple syrup (optional), to serve
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 90-120 mins
1. Preheat your oven to 100°C/Fan 80°C/Gas ¼. Take the clementine peel and use a small, sharp knife to slice as much white pith off them as you can. Spread the clementine peel out on a baking tray and slide into the oven. Gently bake the skins for 1½-2 hrs till the peel has dried out and started to curl up at the edges.
2. Sterilise a small jar by washing it in your dishwasher or washing it in hot, soapy water and then drying the jar in an oven set to 100°C/Fan 80°C/Gas ¼.
3. When the clementine peel has been dried, crumble it into a bowl. Break in the cinnamon quills, snapping them into small pieces. Break the star anise into small pieces (you can pop them in a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin to smash them if you need to) and add them to the bowl. Tip in the cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns and ground ginger and stir to mix. Spoon the spice mix into the sterilised jar and seal. The chai spice mix will keep in the jar for a couple of months.
4. To make a cup of chai, pour 300ml milk of your choice into a small pan. Add 1 tea bag and ½ tbsp of the Christmas chai spice mix. You can add ½-1 tbsp honey or maple syrup – chai is normally sweet – but you can leave it out if you prefer. Gently warm over a medium-low heat, stirring every so often, for 5-10 mins till hot. Strain into a heatproof glass or cup and serve.